Two-time British Touring Car champion Jason Plato says he and Power Maxed Racing are closing in on the sweet spot of their Vauxhall Astra after scoring solid points at Thruxton.

For the second meeting in a row, Plato posted a trio of top-ten finishes, which has moved the 96-time BTCC race winner up to tenth in the overall points standings.

After finishing just off the podium in fourth in race two, Plato's final race of the day became compromised after the Vauxhall driver was forced to take avoiding action across the grass following his PMR team mate Rob Collard's spin on the opening lap.

Plato later recovered to secure an eighth place finish.

"Good points. The balls didn’t quite roll for us. I had a great start in race three and I took the right move around the outside and took quite a few places," Plato told

"But then Rob [Collard] had his moment and I almost had to stop. I lost everything I gained and some. The good thing is that we made quite a lot of changes to the car and we kept moving it in direction.”

Plato says the changes he and PMR squad are making to the Vauxhall bode well for the remainder of the season, but admits he’s still having to contend with too much mid-corner understeer.

"We learning. We’re changing the balance, changing the feel and changing the grip distribution. It all bodes well. We just can’t get to the sweet spot yet,” Plato continued.

"We’re honing in on it. Slowly but surely we’re learning. We’re going to get there. Realistically, I think we’re a couple of tenths off. I’m pleased.

“We’ve just got a bit too much understeer in the bad phase of the corner. It’s a bit too early in the corner. That means it hurts the traction because I’m not pointing in the right direction and then that’s asking too much of the front tyre.”

Knowing the pace is there to be unlocked, Plato say’s a cure for the Astra’s understeer will ‘transform’ the car.

"If we can cure that, it will transform the car. We’re improving but we need to get a bit more rotation. We need more rotation that’s grip, not slide.

"The rear of the car is very good at the moment, in terms of its stability, it’s compliable and I’ve got some elasticity in the grip. It’s doing all the right stuff, but we just haven’t quite nailed the front.

"We’re getting there. A good score of points. It’s nice to be back. We sniffed a podium, had a fourth and had some good moves. The pace is there, albeit we’re just a little bit off."




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